Product: Nox Gear Tracer 360 Visibility Vest
You know…I have failed as a blogger in doing product reviews…food…or otherwise…as of late. And I apologize for that. And, sadly, it has taken a product I was pretty stoked about literally falling apart after only SIX wearings to bring me back around to writing these. But now the feature is back…so I’ll keep at it with other products.
For awhile now, my running friends and coach have been urging me to purchase a Nox Gear Tracer 360 Visibility Vest because, as we all know, about 90% of my runs are done outside…in the dark. While I always wear reflective gear, they hyped up the light and visibility that this vest gives any runner in the dark.
When it went on sale around Christmas time…I bit the bullet. I needed it, at the time, for a costume I was working on for Disney (which I ended up scrapping due to how cold the weather was going to be), and justified the purchase with the amount of use I’d get out of it as a runner in the dark.
When it arrived, I immediately opened the box and pulled it out to at least try it on. I was surprised how light weight it was, but it was a good fit on me. I would be testing it out for the first time the following morning on a run and I couldn’t wait. My biggest concern was that the tubes that came down to the hips would bounce up and bother me. I hoped I was wrong.
That morning, I got dressed to go for my run before the sun was even dreaming up coming up. I slipped the Nox Gear Tracer 360 on and clipped it around my body. Perfect fit. It wasn’t too tight. I turned it on, letting it flash various fun colors and I turned on my Instagram and did an Instagram Story about it. I was super stoked. But I still had to try it on a run.
Guess what. All of my fears were put to rest on that run. The tubing didn’t bother me at all. My hands never snagged on it and nothing bounced or chafed or bothered me. I was ready to drink the Kool-Aid. Every morning I wore it out…I would just rave about it on my Instagram afterwards. But…the holidays rolled around and I was visiting family in Alabama…where I run when it’s light out. After that…I came down with a cold and took time off from my training. I was tapering anyway. And then…the Dopey Challenge. I had trashed my plan to dress as Tron (which was one of the reasons I bought the Nox Gear Tracer 360), due to freezing temperatures and the costume not really having time to be refined to where I was happy with it. The vest stayed behind to await my return. Unfortunately, Disney flu came home with me and 2 weeks later…I’m finally ready to go out for more walking than running…but something. Finally.
That was this morning. And that was when it all went wrong.
Today was my sixth (6th) time wearing the Nox Gear Tracer 360 Visibility Vest. I went and counted in my Instagram. Don’t judge me.
Six wears…and on my final 2 minute run interval this morning…the vest suddenly falls down my shoulders. I thought, perhaps, the clip at the middle came undone and paused my Garmin to fix it.
WRONG! The reflective strap that wraps around the middle had completely come apart. Not even on a seam. It was like it just tore down the center…with nothing that could have caused that to happen. I was NOT happy. Believe me, these vests are not cheap. And when you pay $70 for a reflective vest…you kind of hope for a better quality product. I mean, I spent less on my simple yellow reflective vest with blinkie light clip-ons and that’s lasted me for 4 years. This survived only six runs. Six short (not even long) runs.
To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I’m actually a little angry. I was so excited and hyped over this piece of running gear and it was like this big let-down in a big way. I actually had to hold the tubing together in front for the rest of my run so I could still be visible, but finish off my run this morning.
I have every intention of contacting Nox Gear regarding this. I am willing to exchange it for a new one, believing that, perhaps, this was just a bad batch or whatever. I love the concept behind this vest, but I need it to last because 4 out of 5 of my runs every week are done in the dark. The kind of visibility that this gave me was impressive. The vest being so light weight was a bonus. I’m picky about things I wear when I run, and this was something I expected to hate…but didn’t.
And I don’t hate it now…I just hate that it was so poorly constructed. As of right now, I can’t honestly recommend this product. It all hinges on how Nox Gear handles this when I contact them regarding my dissatisfaction with their product.